Should You Replace Your Headlight Assembly Yourself?

If you got a high quote from a shop or GM dealer for replacing your headlight assembly, we understand why you’re wondering if you could do it at home.

The good news is: yes, you can! If you’re handy with tools and you’re willing to set aside a couple hours of your time, that is.

You Can, But Should You?

Acadia light

Image Credit: John Huh

Don’t be so ready to roll up your sleeves and get right to work. Replacing a set of headlight assembly is a project that’s not for everybody. To figure out whether this is a project you could successfully tackle, consider these points:

1. Experience

Replacing your headlight assembly is a more complicated project than, say, replacing your brake pads. It’s easy to break or damage something in the process of replacing your headlight assembly. If you’re a novice, we recommend doing a bit of research first before deciding to tackle this project on your own.

2. Tools

You only need a few basic tools to pull off this project. But it’s important that they’re the right tools. Using the wrong tools can end up in something getting broken, stuck, or scratched up. You want to make sure you have the right tools before deciding to replace the headlight assembly yourself.

3. Cost

How much is your time worth? An experienced technician takes less than an hour to replace a headlight assembly, and many shops charge $100 per hour for labor. Depending on your experience level, it might take a couple of hours for you to replace your headlight assembly. It’s up to you to figure out how much you’ll actually be saving if you do it at home and if the savings are worth it.

How to Find the Right OEM Headlight Assembly For Your Car

Shops and GMC dealers tend to mark up OEM parts by about 30%. You’re better off ordering an OEM replacement headlight assembly online from a trusted GMC parts seller, like GM Parts Super Store.

It’s really easy to find the right OEM headlight assembly for your car. Just look up your GM vehicle here and you’ll get the right part numbers. For your convenience, we’ve included a list of our top selling headlight assemblies:

  • Part No. 23490005: For 2015-2017 Suburban and Tahoe models
  • Part No. 84122615: For 2014-2017 Corvette models
  • Part No. 10349960: For 2000-2005 Monte Carlo models
  • Part No. 10396912: For 2005-2007 Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe models (right side)
  • Part No. 10396913: For 2005-2007 Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, and Tahoe models (left side)

How to Replace Your Headlights

Replacing gm headlight

Image Credit: Sparky's Answers

The process varies by model, but here’s a basic overview:

  1. Turn off the car.
  2. Open the hood.
  3. Disconnect the electrical connectors behind the headlight assembly inside the engine bay.
  4. Remove the headlight mounting screws and gently take out the headlight assembly from the housing.
  5. Unbolt the housing from the front support and fender.
  6. Take the new headlight housing and then bolt it into place.
  7. Install the headlight assembly in the housing.
  8. Reconnect the electrical connectors behind the assembly.
  9. Align the headlights.